I purchased this game for the Children’s Ministry (ages 6-11) in mid 2010. It’s been highly used every evening event since it was installed and the kids (and adults) thoroughly enjoy using it. It’s a lot of fun with great electronic interaction/scoring and sounds. Great completion amongst the kids, and there always seems to be a line to get in if you want to play. I’d certainly say we’ve all gotten more fun from it than expected, and hope to continue to use it for years to come. It's a GREAT game for the kids (and yeah, adults too#.
However, and yeah, there is a however……….several…
It does require some up-keep. Considering the age group that uses it and how rough kids #and adults# can be, it would not be fair to expect this would be child-proof, and it was not expected to be. We’re on our 3rd ramp, 3rd set of nets, 2nd set of Hoops #1 broken net mount, 1 broken hoop# and has needed 1 scoring-arm replacement #likely broken by someone being a bit rough, probably trying to loosen a caught basketball in the net#. The nets do tend to get caught in the scoring arms, but you can trim the nets off and fix that rather easily. Also, the constant pushing against it and reaching into the ramp for a ball eventually broke the two front legs that touch the floor #where they bend up#.
So, what to do……… Well, first and foremost, order some extra parts to have on hand if this will be for heavy group use. Spalding Customer support is very nice, very responsive, has very reasonable prices on their replacement parts, do not charge for shipping, and unless on back-order, you’ll get your parts within 2 or 3 business days. I’ve had very positive experiences with them the tree times I’ve called. The first time they replaced the scoring arm FOR FREE #within a warranty period# and the other two “parts orders” went very well.
Lastly, customize it. We added some steel braces #two long flat, roughly 1” x 2’ braces# to support the front legs. We drilled holes in the front vertical bars right under the front of the net, and then in the legs along the floor, and used the braces bettween them. It took 10 minutes and was super simple, and likely will add YEARS to the life of the unit. It helps keep the ramp tight and the legs firm while the kids push and lean on it.
Recommend? Most certainly. If for indoor home use, it’s great fun and inexpensive. If for group use, sure, just plan ahead and have the proper expectation that you’ll have some eventual up-keep #order some spare parts post the warranty period). It’s not abuse proof.
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